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Monday, August 1, 2022

Sciatica Mimics

emDOCs - August 01, 2022 - Authors: Mitchell Blenden and Kelly Williamson
Reviewed by: Alexander Y. Sheng; Alex Koyfman; Brit Long
Key Points
  • Sciatica is a diagnosis of exclusion in the emergency department. It is important to assess for red flag symptoms that should prompt further evaluation.
  • Important diagnoses to consider that may mimic sciatica include spinal cord compression, infectious processes, malignancy, and acute limb ischemia.
  • There is no perfect test for sciatica. History and physical exam should be used together to make this diagnosis.
  • The treatment of sciatica is pain control with NSAIDs. The utility of corticosteroids is controversial. Opioids and benzodiazepines have no proven benefit.